Table of Contents
    Definitions 3 min read

    Application lifecycle management (ALM) refers to the capability to integrate, coordinate and manage the different phases of the software delivery process. From development to deployment, ALM is a set of defined processes and tools that include definition, design, development, testing, deployment and management. Throughout the ALM process, each of these steps are closely monitored and controlled.

    How is ALM used?

    Application lifecycle management (ALM) is used for the development, maintenance, and governance of computer programs. It can be used for various applications such as quality assurance (QA), development, delivery, support, and management of software.

    ALM also helps improve collaboration and communication through various stages of all applications. This includes regulation of the application for the entire life cycle from its concept emergence to the final retirement of the application.

    One of the key advantages of using ALM’s approach is it integrates the different tools required for application development and management. The integrated tools are more productive than the detached tools distributed amongst different teams. 

    Different Stages of ALM

    Application Governance

    The application governance phase of ALM includes gathering and analyzing customer or end-user requirements. This phase can also be used to set up access limitations, management of resources, and protection of security.

    Application Development

    ALM allows for close cooperation and collaboration of different development teams including preparation of the program environment, architecture, creating documentation, and other development tasks.

    Testing and Quality Assurance

    Once the computer program has been developed, ALM can be used to manage the testing and quality assurance phase. This phase is critical to the security, reliability, and performance of the computer program. ALM offers end-to-end traceability to ensure all requirements are validated and verified.


    When the computer program has been developed and tested, it is ready to be released to the customer. ALM tools can be used to integrate with DevOps tools and server integrations used for deployment.

    Continuous Maintenance and Operations

    ALM platform offers several maintenance and operation tools to keep the program running properly after the deployment has been completed.

    ALM vs. SDLC 

    ALM is a broader process that covers both the development and performance of the computer program after the deployment. Comparatively, software development life cycle (SDLC) only deals with the processes that happen during development and deployment, such as gathering requirements, coding, and testing. ALM continues after the computer program that is deployed and used.

    Benefits of ALM 

    Companies can use ALM tools to gather business requirements, better understand customer needs, create reports on usage of resources, and track issues with the computer program.

    With close cooperation between different teams with ALM, it is easier for companies to achieve corporate goals and compliance, resulting in more value for the business. It also allows companies to reduce the time needed for the development and deployment of the computer program.

    This definition was reviewed and updated in February 2022 by Ali Azhar.